Joined: 10 October 2007
I suggest, based on your situation, you apply for the jobs you want to, probably by uploading your CV at www.reed.co.uk, and at the same time get your employer to fund your HND. That way if a job comes along you can opt for that but if not you are still increasing your qualifications for another year which also gives the economy more time to pick up.
The HND will hold its value.
Joined: 25 July 2008
I am from a similar background to yourself. I completed the HNC last year gaining 8 D and 2 M, like yourself i did the ONC previous to that. I am 24 and in the dieing manufacturing industry too. I spent HOURS searching future engineering roles/jobs.
I concluded that in order for me to gain in the long term i would need a degree (an IET approved one- very important for large companies)
I was fortunate that my company are now sponsoring me to do the Beng (hons) Control and Electronics Engineering at LJMU part time (3.5yrs). I appreciate that this would involve you tying into the company but in the long run but i think it would be valuable if you wish to progress above technician level.
The other option is to look at a engineering technician role with a company that is keen to sponsor you to further education as it seems (from your grades)you are more than capable of achieving it and hopefully they will see this.
I believe that once you complete a good degree with 7/8years industrial experience from and apprenticeship upwards will hold you in good stead to progress within the industry.
a side point is that the HNC is now being phased out and replaced with a foundation degree with alot of bodies looking to stop awarding the HNC from 2012. In my opinion the HNC will be viewed as a "better" qualification to hold, however the Foundation degree does allow easier transition to a full Hons degree. so the future of the HND may also be in question.
Hope this helps